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News, Victoria

Campaign aims to get more LGBTIQ+ people in Victorian Parliament 

More LGBTIQ+ candidates will be supported to run and win seats in next year’s Victorian state election under a new campaign launched today by the Victorian Pride Lobby.

The non-partisan It Takes More campaign will seek to address the shockingly low LGBTIQ+ representation in the Victorian Parliament by working directly to support and mentor LGBTIQ+ candidates.

The campaign will also see the Lobby reach out to political parties and party pride organisations to understand how LGBTIQ+ candidates are being supported to run for winnable seats. 

LGBTIQ+ media outlets, journalists, and broadcasters will be asked to take the It Takes More pledge to feature only LGBTIQ+ candidates and party spokespeople when covering LGBTIQ+ issues on the campaign trail.

Co-convenor of the Victorian Pride Lobby Nevena Spirovska said that by working directly with LGBTIQ+ candidates, the Lobby was seeking to create a network of support and mentorship.

“The Lobby will be reaching out to the various political party pride organisations and political parties themselves to understand how LGBTIQ+ candidates are being supported to run for winnable seats,” she said. 

“It takes more than a rainbow lanyard to have equality. 

“We will only be the equality state when our parliament reflects the rich diversity of our communities.”

Currently, Victoria has one of the lowest rates of LGBTIQ+ representation in Australia, with only around 2% of parliamentarians identifying as LGBTIQ+.

Comparatively, 16% of MPs and 33% of ministers in the ACT are openly LGBTIQ+, along with 11% of the Cabinet in Western Australia. 

Overseas, the UK House of Lords has five times more lesbians in its Chamber than in both houses of the Victorian Parliament combined, and New Zealand has 10% LGBTIQ+ MPs.

Victoria currently has no openly LGBTIQ+ people in the Ministry or Shadow Ministry. 

No trans, non-binary, or intersex person has ever been elected to the Victorian Parliament.

There has never been an openly lesbian, bisexual, or queer woman elected to the Legislative Assembly, and only two ever elected to the Legislative Council. 

In 2022, the Lobby is hoping to change this.

Last year, the Lobby found great success in its Rainbow Local Government campaign, which saw a record number of LGBTIQ+ people and allies elected to councils across the state.

You can attend the It Takes More campaign online launch with ABC’s James Findlay, Harriet Shing MP, Chris Steel MLA, and Heath Wilson (Liberal Pride) today (Tuesday 28 September) at 6 pm.

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